Carolina Fundmental Constitutions - 1682 - August

The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina - August 17, 1682
         

Our Sovereign Lord the King having, out of his most Royal grace and bounty, granted unto us the Province of Carolina, with all the Royalties, Proprieties, Jurisdictions, and privileges of a County Palatine, as Large and ample as the County palatine of Durham, with other great Privileges; for the better Settlement of the government of the said Province, and Establishing the Interest of the Lords Proprietors with equality, and without Confusion; and that the Government of this Province may be made most agreeable to the monarchy under which we Live, and of which this Province is a part; and that we may avoid Erecting a Numerous Democracy, we, the Lords and Proprietors of the Province aforesaid, have agreed to this following form of Government, to be perpetually established amongst us, unto which we do Oblige our selves, our heirs, Assigns, and Successors, in the most binding ways that Can be devised.

1. The Eldest of the Lords Proprietors shall be Palatine; and, upon the decease of the Palatine, the Eldest of those who were Proprietors the first of March, one thousand six hundred sixty and nine, shall succeed him; and when none of the are living, he that has been Longest a Proprietor shall Succeede; but after the year one thousand Seven hundred, and the death of all those who were Proprietors the first of March, one thousand six hundred Sixty and nine, the Eldest man of the then Lords Proprietors shall always be Palatine.

2. There shall be Seven Other Chief Offices Erected, viz: the Admiral's, Chamberlain's, Chancellor's, Constable's, Chief Justice's, High Steward's, and Treasurer's, which Places shall be enjoyed by none but the Lords Proprietors, to be assigned at first by lot; and upon the Vacancy of any one of the Seven great offices by death, or otherwise, the Eldest of those who were Proprietors the first of March, one thousand six hundred sixty nine, shall have his Choice; and when none of them are Living, he that has been Longest a Proprietor shall have his Choice; but after the year one thousand Seven hundred, if none of those that were Proprietors in the year one thousand six hundred sixty and nine are then living, the Eldest man of the then Lords Proprietors shall have his Choice.

3. The Whole province shall be divided into Counties; each County shall Consist of Eight Seigniories, Eight Baronies, and four precincts; each precinct shall consist of Six Colonies.

4. Each seigniory, Barony, and Colony shall consist of twelve thousand Acres, the Eight seigniories being the Share of the Eight Proprietors, and the Eight Baronies of the Nobility, both which shares, being each of them one-fifth part of the Whole, are to be perpetually Annexed, the one to the Proprietors, the other to the hereditary nobility, leaving the Colonies, being three-fifths, among the people; that so, in setting out and planting the Land, the Balance of the government may be preserved.

5. At any time before the year one thousand seven hundred and one, any of the Lords Proprietors shall have power to Relinquish, alienate, and dispose, to any other person, his Proprietorship, and All the seigniories, powers, and interest thereunto belonging, wholly and entirely together, and not otherwise; but after the year one thousand seven hundred, those who are then Lords Proprietors shall not have power to Alienate or make over their Proprietorship, with the Seigniories and privileges thereunto belonging, or any part thereof, to any person whatsoever, otherwise than in paragraph 17, but it shall all descend unto their heirs male, and for want of heirs Male, it shall all descend on that Landgrave or Cacique of Carolina who is descended of the Next heir female of the said Proprietor; and for want of Such heirs, it shall all descend on the Next heir General; and for want of Such heirs, the Remaining seven Proprietors shall, upon the vacancy, Choose a Landgrave to Succeed the deceased Proprietor, who being Chosen by the majority of the Surviving Proprietors, he and his heirs Successively shall be Proprietors as full, to all intents and Purposes, as any of the Rest.

6. That the number of Eight Proprietors may be constantly Kept, if, upon the vacancy of any Proprietor, the Seven Surviving Proprietors shall not choose a Landgrave to be a Proprietor before the Second Biennial Parliament after the Vacancy, then the next Biennial Parliament but one after such Vacancy shall have power to Choose any Landgrave to be a Proprietor.

7. Whosoever after the year one thousand Seven hundred, Either by Inheritance or Choice, shall succeed any Proprietor in his Proprietorship, and Seignory thereunto belonging, shall be Obliged to take the name and Arms of that Proprietor whom he succeeds, which from thenceforth shall be the Name and Arms of his family and their posterity.

8. There shall be Just as many Landgraves as there are counties, and twice as many Caciques, and no more. These shall be the Hereditary Nobility of the province, and by Right of their dignity, be members of Parliamaent. Each Landgrave shall have four Baronies, Each Cacique two Baronines, Hereditarily and unalterably settled upon and Annexed to the said dignity.

9. The first Landgraves and Caciques of the twelve first Counties to be planted shall be nominated thus: that is to say, of the twelve Landgraves, the Lords Proprietors shall, Each of them Separately, for himself, nominate and Choose one, and the Remaining four Landgraves of the first twelve shall be nominated and chosen by the Palatine's Court; in the like manner, of the twenty-four first Caciques, Each Proprietor, for himself, shall Nominate and Choose two, and the remaining eight shall be nominated and Chosen by the Palatine's Court; and when the twelve first Counties shall be planted, the Lords Proprietors shall again, in the Same manner, nominate and Choose twelve more Landgraves and twenty-four Caciques, for the twelve next Counties to be planted, that is to say, two-thirds of Each number by the Single Nomination of Each Proprietor for himself, and the Remaining one-third by the Joint election of the Palatine's Court; and so Proceed, in the Same manner, till the whole province of Carolina be settled out and planted according to the proportions in these Fundamental Constitutions.

10. Any Landgrave or Cacique, at any time before the year one thousand seven hundred and one, shall have power to Alienate, sell, or make over, to any other person, his dignity, with the Baronies thereunto belonging, all entirely together; but after the year one thousand seven hundred, no Landgrave or Cacique shall have power to Alienate, sell, make over, or let the Hereditary Baronies of his dignity, or any part thereof, otherwise than as in paragraph 17, but they shall all entirely, with the dignity thereunto belonging, descend unto his heir male; and for want of heirs male, all entirely and undivided, to the next heir general; and for want of Such heirs, shall devolve into the hands of the Lords Proprietors.

11. That the due number of Landgraves and Caciques may be always kept up, if, upon the devolution of any Landgraveship or Caciqueship, the Palatine's Court shall not settle the devolved dignity, with the Baronies thereunto annexed, before the Second biennial Parliament after such devolution, the next Biennial Parliament but one after such devolution shall have power to make any one Landgrave or Cacique in the Room of him, who dying without heirs, his dignity and Baronies Devolved.

12. No one person shall have more than one dignity, with the Seigniories or Baronies thereunto belonging; but whensoever it shall happen that any one who is already Proprietor, Landgrave, or Cacique shall have any of these dignities descend to him by Inheritance, it shall be at his choice to keep which of the dignities, with the Lands annexed, he shall like best, but shall leave the other, with the Lands annexed, to be enjoyed by him who, not being his heir apparent, and certain successor to his Present dignity, is next of Blood.

13. Whosoever, by right of inheritance, shall come to be Proprietor, Landgrave, or Cacique shall take the name and arms of his predecessor in that dignity, to be from thenceforth the name and arms of his family and their posterity.

14. Since the dignity of Proprietors, Landgraves, or Caciques cannot be divided, and the Seigniories or Baronies thereunto annexed must forever, all entirely, descend with and accompany that dignity, wheresoever, for want of heirs male, it shall descend on the Issue female, the Eldest daughter and her heirs shall be preferred, and in the inheritance of those dignities, and in the Seigniories or Baronies annexed, there shall be no Coheirs.

15. In Every Seigniory, Barony, and manor, the Respective Lord Shall have power, in his own name, to hold Court-Leet there, for trying of all causes, both civil and criminal; but where it shall concern any person being no Inhabitant, vassal, or Leetman of the said Seigniory, Barony, or manor, he, upon paying down of forty shillings to the Lords Proprietors' use, shall have appeal from the Seigniory or Barony Court to the County Court, and from the Manor Court to the Precinct Court.

16. Every Manor shall consist of not less than three thousand acres and not above twelve thousand acres in one entire Piece and colony; but any three thousand acres or more in one piece and the possession of one man shall not be a manor unless it be constituted a manor by the grant of the Palatine's Court.

17. The Lords of Seigniories and Baronies shall have power only of granting Estates, not Exceeding three Lives or thirty-one years, in two-thirds of said Seigniories or Baronies, and the Remaining third shall be always demesne.

18. Any Lord of a Manor may alien, sell, or dispose, to any other Person, and his heirs, forever, his manor, all entirely together, with all the Privileges and leetmen thereunto belonging, so far forth as any other colony lands; but no grant of any part thereof, either in fee or for any longer term than three Lives, or one-and-twenty years, shall be good against the next heir.

19. No Manor, for want of Issue Male, shall be divided amongst Coheirs, but the manor, if there be but one, shall all entirely descend to the eldest Daughter and her heirs; if there be more manors than one, the Eldest daughter first shall have her choice, the Second next, and so on, beginning again at the Eldest, till all the manors be taken up; that so, the Privileges which belong to manors being Indivisible, the Lands of the manors to which they are annexed may be kept entire, and the manor not lose those Privileges, which upon Parcelling out to several owners must necessarily cease.

20. Every lord of a manor, within his manor, shall have all the powers, Jurisdictions, and privileges which a Landgrave or Cacique has in his Baronies.

21. In Every Seigniory, Barony, and Manor, all the leetmen shall be under the Jurisdiction of the Respective Lord of the Said Seigniory, Barony, or Manor, without appeal from him; nor shall any leetman or leetwoman have liberty to go off from the Land of their Particular Lord and live any where else without license obtained from their said Lord, under hand and seal.

22. All the Children of leetmen shall be leetmen, and so to all generations.

23. No man shall be capable of having a Court leet or leetmen but a Proprietor, Landgrave, Cacique, or lord of a manor.

24. No man shall be a leetman but such as voluntarily enters himself leetman in the County Court, in Open Court, and there so registers himself.

25. Whoever is lord of leetmen shall, upon the Marriage of a leetman or leetwoman of his, give them ten Acres of Land for their Lives, they paying to him therefor not more than one-eighth part of all the yearly produce and growth of the said ten acres.

26. No Landgrave or Cacique shall be tried for any criminal cause in any but the Chief Justice's Court, and that by a Jury of his peers, drawn by lot out of all the Nobility, after the manner of other Juries; but when there is not a Sufficient number of the nobility in Carolina, then the Jury for the trial of any Landgrave or Cacique shall be made up by Lot with such of the Commons as are qualified to Serve as Jury men in the Proprietors' Court.

27. There shall be eight supreme Courts, the first, called the Palatine's Court, consisting of the Palatine and the Seven other Proprietors; the other Seven Courts of the other seven great officers shall consist, each of them, of a Proprietor and six Councillors added to him; under each of these latter seven courts shall be a College of twelve assistants; the twelve assistants of the Several colleges shall be chosen: two out of the Landgraves, Caciques, or Eldest Sons of Proprietors, by the Palatine's Court; Two out of the Landgraves, by the Landgraves' Chamber; Two out of the Caciques, by the Caciques' Chamber; four more of the twelve shall be Chosen by the Commons' Chamber, out of Such as have been or are members of the Parliament, Sheriffs, or Justices of the County Court, or the younger sons of Proprietors, or Eldest Sons of Landgraves or Caciques; the two others shall be chosen by the Palatine's Court out of the Same sort of Persons out of which the Commons' Chamber is to Choose.

28. Out of these Colleges shall be chosen, at first by the Palatine's Court, six Councillors to be Joined with Each Proprietor in his Court: of which six, one shall be of those who were Chosen in any of the Colleges by the Palatine's Court out of the Landgraves, Caciques, or Eldest Sons of Proprietors; One out of those who were Chosen by the Landgraves' Chamber; and one out of those who were Chosen by the Caciques' Chamber; two out of those who were Chosen by the Commons' Chamber; one out of those who were Chosen by the Palatine's Court out of the Proprietors' younger Sons, or eldest sons of the Landgraves, or Caciques, or commons qualified as aforesaid.

29. When it shall happen that any Councillor dies or is removed, and thereby there is a Vacancy, he that has been Longest a Councillor in any of the Proprietors' Courts, of the Same degree and choice the other was of whose vacant place is to be filled up, shall have his Choice, whether he will Remove into the place of the person that is dead or Removed; but if he Refuse to Remove, the next in Seniority of the Same degree and choice shall have his choice; and so of course the Rest in Order; and the last Remaining vacant place in any of the foresaid Proprietors' Courts shall be filled up by him that has been longest of any of the Colleges, being of the Same degree and choice with him that is dead or Removed; and he that is next of Seniority in the Same degree and choice shall have power to Remove himself, if he please, into the College where any place shall be vacant; and so of course the rest, as in case of Councillors; but the Last remaining vacant place in any College shall be filled up by the Same Choice and out of the Same degree of Persons that he was of who is dead or Removed; no place shall be Vacant in any of the Proprietors' Courts of Colleges longer than the next session of Parliament.

30. No Man being a Member of the Grand Council or of any of the seven Colleges shall be turned out but for misdemeanor, by the Vote of three-fifths of the Grand Council, three several days, or by sentence in Parliament, as in paragraph 81; and the vacancy of the Person so put out shall be filled as is Provided in case of the death of any Councillor; but it is not hereby to be understood that the Grand Council has any power to turn out any one of the Lords Proprietors, or their deputies, the Lords Proprietors having in themselves an inherent Original right.

31. All elections in the Parliament, in the several Chambers of the Parliament, and in the Grand Council shall be passed by balloting.

32. The Palatine's Court shall consist of the Palatine and the Seven other Proprietors, wherein nothing shall be acted without the presence and consent of the Palatine, or his Deputy, and three other of the Proprietors, or their Deputies. This Court shall have power to call Parliaments, to make Election of all Officers in the Proprietor's dispose, to nominate and appoint port towns, and, with the consent of the Grand Council, to pardon all offences, except of such Persons as are for maladministration of any public charge condemned or any way sentenced by the Parliament, whose sentence on such malfactors no body shall have power to suspend, remit, or mitigate but the Parliament itself; and also, shall have power, by their orders to the treasurer, to dispose of all public treasure, excepting money granted by the Parliament and by them directed to some Particular public use; and also, shall have a Negative upon all acts, orders, and votes of the Grand Council and the Parliament, except in Judgments and Judicial proceedings as in paragraphs 6, 11, 30, and 81; and shall have power to displace any officer of the militia; and shall have all the powers granted to the Lords Proprietors by their patent from Our Sovereign Lord, the King, except in such things as are Limited by these Fundamental Constitutions.

33. The Palatine himself, or his Vice-Palatine or Deputy, when he in Person shall be either in the Army or any of the Proprietors' Courts, shall then have the power of General or of that Proprietor in whose Court he is then present; and the Proprietor, in whose court the Palatine, or his Deputy, then presides shall, during his presence there, be but as one of the Council.

34. The Councillor's Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councillors, who shall be called Vice-Chancellors, shall have the Custody of the seal of the Palatinate, under which all charters, of Lands or otherwise, Commissions, and grants of the Palatine's Court shall pass; and it shall not be lawful to put the Seal of the Palatinate to any writing which is not signed by the Palatine, or his Deputy, and three other Proprietors, or their Deputies; to this Court, also, belong all state matters, dispatches, and treaties with the neighbour Indians; to this Court, also, belongs all invasions of the Law of Liberty of conscience, and all disturbances of the public peace upon Pretence of Religion. The twelve assistants belonging to this Court shall be called Recorders.

35. Whatsoever passes under the seal of the Palatinate shall be registered in that Proprietor's Court to which the matter therein contained belongs.

36. The Chancellor, or his Deputy, shall be always speaker in Parliament and President of the Grand Council, and in his and his Deputy's absence, one of the Vice-Chancellors.

37. The Chief Justice's Court, Consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councillors, who shall be called Justices of the Bench, shall Judge all appeals, in cases both Civil and criminal, except all such cases as shall be under the Jurisdiction and Cognizance of any other of the Proprietor's Courts, which shall be tried in those courts respectively. The government and Regulation of the Registries of writings and Contracts shall belong to the Jurisdiction of this Court. The twelve Assistants of this court shall be called Masters.

38. The Constable's Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councillors, who shall be called Marshalls, shall order and determine of all military Affairs by land, and all Land forces, arms, ammunition, artillery, Garrisons, and forts, etc., and whatever belongs unto war. His twelve assistants shall be called Masters of the Ordnance.

39. In time of actual war, the Constable, whilst he is in the army, shall be General of the army, except the Palatine be there in person, or his Deputy, who, when present, shall be General, as in paragraph 33.

40. The Admiral's Court, consisting of one of the Proprietors and his six Councillors, called Consuls, shall have the care and Inspection over all ports, moles, and navigable rivers so far as the tide flows; and also, all the public shipping of Carolina, and stores thereunto belonging, and all maritime affairs. This Court, also, shall have the power of the Court of Admiralty; and shall have power to constitute Judges in port towns to try cases belonging to law merchant, as shall be most convenient for trade. The twelve assistants belonging to this court shall be called Proconsuls.

41. The Treasurer's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and his six Councillors, called Under Treasurers, shall take care of all matters that concern the Public revenue and treasury. The twelve assistants shall be called Auditors.

42. The High Steward's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and his six Councillors, called Comptrollers, shall have the care of all foreign and domestic trade, manufactures, public Buildings, work houses, high ways, passages by water above the flood of the tide, drains, Sewers and Banks against inundations, Bridges, Posts, Carriers, fairs, markets, Corruption or infection of the common Air or water, and all things in order to the Public commerce and health; also, setting out and Surveying of Land; also, setting out and appointing places for towns to be built on in the Precincts, and the Prescribing and determining the figure and bigness of the said towns according to such models as the said Court shall order, Contrary or differing from which models it shall not be lawful for any one to build in any town. This Court shall have power, also, to make any public building, or any new high way, or enlarge any old high way, upon any man's land whatsoever; as also, to make cuts, channels, banks, locks, and Bridges, for making Rivers navigable, or for draining fens, or any other Public use. The damage the owner of such land, on or through which any such public thing shall be made, shall Receive thereby shall be valued, and satisfaction made, by such ways as the Grand Council shall appoint. The twelve assistants belonging to this Court shall be called Surveyors.

43. The Chamberlain's Court, consisting of a Proprietor and six Councillors, called Vice Chamberlains, shall have the care of all Ceremonies, Precedency, heraldry, reception of public messengers, Pedigrees; the Registering of all births, burials, and marriages; Legitimation, and all cases concerning matrimony or arising from it; and shall, also, have power to regulate all fashions, habits, Badges, games, and sports. To this Court, also, it shall belong to convocate the Grand Council. The twelve assistants belonging to this Court shall be called Provosts.

44. All Causes belonging to, or under the Jurisdiction of, any of the Proprietors' Courts shall in them respectively be tried and ultimately determined, without any further appeal.

45. The Proprietors' Courts shall have power to mitigate all fines and suspend all Executions in criminal Causes, either before or after sentence, in any of the other inferior courts respectively.

46. In all debates, hearings, and trials in any of the Proprietors' Courts, the twelve assistants belonging to the said Courts respectively shall have liberty to be Present, but shall not interpose unless their opinions be required, nor have any Vote at all; but their business shall be, by the direction of the Respective Courts, to Prepare such business as shall be committed to them; as also, to bear such office and dispatch such Affairs, either where the Court is kept or elsewhere, as the Court shall think fit.

47. In all the Proprietors' Courts, the Proprietors and any three of his Councillors shall make a Quorum; provided always, that, for the Better dispatch of business, it shall be in the Power of the Palatine's Court to direct what sort of Causes shall be heard and determined by a Quorum of any three.

48. The Grand Council shall Consist of the Palatine, and seven Proprietors, and the forty-two Councillors of the Several Proprietors' Courts; who shall have power to determine any controversies that may Arise between any of the Proprietors' Courts about their respective Jurisdictions, or between the members of the same Court about their manner and method of Proceedings; to make peace and war, Leagues, treaties, etc., with any of the neighbour Indians; to Issue out their General orders to the Constable's and Admiral's courts, for the Raising, disposing, or disbanding the forces, by Land or by sea, or themselves disband any forces when they see fit, by Proclamation or otherwise; and to Choose the Colonels and other inferior officers and Commanders of the militia or posse of Carolina, and Present them to the Palatine to be Commissioned by him.

49. The Grand Council shall always be Judges of all causes and appeals that Concern the Palatine, or any of the Lords Proprietors, or any Councillor of any Proprietor's Court in any cause which otherwise should have been tried in the Court in which the Said Councillor is Judge himself; and their Votes in such Cases shall be by Ballot.

50. The Grand Council, by their warrant to the Treasurer's Court, shall dispose of all the money given by the Parliament and by them directed to any Particular public use.

51. The Quorum of the Grand Council shall be thirteen, whereof a Proprietor, or his Deputy, shall be always one.

52. The Grand Council shall meet the first Tuesday in every month, and as much oftener as either they shall think fit or they shall be convocated by the Chamberlain's Court.

53. The Palatine, or any of the Lords Proprietors, shall have power, under hand and seal, to be Registered in the Grand Council, to make a Deputy, who shall have the Same power, to all intents and purposes, as he himself who deputes him, except in Confirming acts of Parliament, as in paragraph 83, and Except, also, in nominating and Choosing Landgraves and Caciques, as in paragraph 9. All such deputations shall cease and determine at the end of four years, and at any time shall be Revocable at the pleasure of the deputator.

54. No Deputy of any Proprietor shall have any power whilst the deputator is in any part of Carolina, except the Proprietor whose Deputy he is be a Minor.

55. During the minority of any Proprietor, his Guardian shall have Power to Constitute and appoint his Deputy.

56. The Eldest of the Lords Proprietors who were Proprietors the first of March, one thousand six hundred sixty nine [1670], who shall be personally in Carolina shall of Course be the Palatine's Deputy, or Vice-Palatine; and if no such Proprietor be in Carolina, he that has been Longest a Proprietor and is in Carolina, and of the age of one-and twenty years, shall be the Palatine's Deputy or Vice-Palatine; but after the year one thousand seven hundred, and the decease of those that were Proprietors the first of March, one thousand six hundred sixty nine [1670], the eldest man of the then Lords Proprietors shall be always Vice-Palatine; but if no Proprietor be in Carolina, the Eldest man of the Heirs apparent of any of the Proprietors, this is past twenty-one years of age, if any such there be, shall be Vice-Palatine; and when ever there is a Vice-Palatine as aforesaid, the Palatine shall have power to choose for his Deputy as Proprietor any one of the Landgraves or Caciques of the Grand Council, that so the number of eight may always be Preserved and the Palatine may always have one in Carolina to take care of his business, who shall have the Same power as one of the other Proprietors Deputies, and no more; but if there be no Proprietor in Carolina, nor his heir apparent, as aforesaid, above twenty-one years old, then the Palatine shall choose for Vice-Palatine, and Deputy, any one of the Landgraves or Caciques of the Grand Council; and till he have, by deputation, under hand and seal, Chosedn any one of the Landgraves or Caciques to be his Deputy, the Eldest man of the Caciques, who shall be Personally in Carolina shall of Course be his Deputy.

57. Each Proprietor's Deputy shall be always one of his own sx Councillors respectively; and in case any of the Proprietors has not, in his absence out of Carolina, a Deputy, commissioned under his hand and seal, the Eldest nobleman of his Court shall of course be his Deputy; and in case he refuse to act, then the next in age that will.

58. In Every County there shall be a Court, consisting of a sheriff and four Justices of the County, for every Precinct one. The sheriff shall be an inhabitant of the County and have at least five hundred Acres of freehold within the said County; and the Justices shall be inhabitants and have, each of them, five hundred Acres apiece freehold within the Precinct for which they serve respectively. These five shall be chosen and commissioned from time to time by the Palatine's Court.

59. For any personal causes exceeding the value of two hundred pounds sterling, or in title of land, or in any criminal cause, either party, upon paying twenty pounds sterling to the Lords Proprietors' use, shall have liberty of appeal from the County Court unto the Respective Proprietors' Courts.

60. In every Precinct there shall be a Court, consisting of a Steward and four Justices of the Precinct, being inhabitants and having three hundred acres of freehold within the said Precinct; who shall Judge all criminal causes, except for treason, murder, or any other Offences punishable with death and except all criminal causes of the nobility; shall Judge, also, all Civil causes whatsoever, and in all personal actions not exceeding fifty pounds sterling without appeal; but where the Cause shall exceed that value, or concern a Title of Land, and in all criminal causes, there, either party, upon paying five pounds sterling to the Lords Proprietors, shall have Liberty of appeal to the County Court.

61. No cause shall be twice tried in any one Court, upon any reason or Pretense whatsoever.

62. For treason, murder, and all other offences punishable with death, there shall be a commission, twice a year at least, granted unto one or more members of the Grand Council or Colleges, who shall come as Judges Itinerant to the Several Counties, and, with the Sheriff and four Justices, shall hold assizes to Judge all such causes.

63. The Grand Jury at the Several assizes shall, upon their oath, and under their hands and Seals, deliver in to the Itinerant Judges a presentment of such grievances, misdemeanors, exigencies, or defects which they think necessary for the Public good of the County; which Presentment shall, by the Itinerant Judges, at the end of their Circuit, be delivered in to the Grand Council at their next sitting; and whatsoever therein concerns the Execution of Laws already made, the Several Proprietors' Courts, in the matters belonging to each of them respectively, shall take cognizance of it, and give such order about it as shall be effectual for the due execution of the Laws; but whatever concerns the making of any new Laws shall be Referred to the several Respective Courts to which that matter belongs, and be by them prepared and brought to the Grand Council; and if the major part of the grand Juries of the Respective Counties shall present anything as necessary to be passed into a law and the Grand Council does not propose the Same to the Parliament at their first sitting which shall happen Six months after such presentment made by the major part of the grand Juries, then it shall be lawful to be proposed in any of the Chambers of Parliament, and having been there carried three several days by majority of Votes, shall be proposed in Parliament, to be passed into a bill as in other cases.

64. For Terms, there shall be quarterly such a certain number of days, not Exceeding One-and-Twenty at any one time, as the several respective Courts shall appoint. The time for the beginning of the term in the Precinct Court shall be the first Monday in February, May, August, and November; in the County Court, the first Monday in January, April, July, and October; and in the Proprietors' Courts the first Monday in March, June, September, and December.

65. In the Precinct Court, no man shall be a Jury man under fifty acres of freehold. In the County Court, or at the assizes, no man shall be a grand Jury man under three hundred acres of freehold; and no man shall be a petty Jury man under two hundred acres of freehold. In the Proprietor Courts, no man shall be a Jury man under five hundred acres of freehold.

66. All the names of freeholders who have not less than fifty Acres nor above two hundred in the Precinct shall be put into the Precinct Court bag for Jury men at the Precinct Court and assizes. All the names of the freeholders of Three hundred acres of Land and upward shall be put into the grand Jury bag for grand Jury men at the County Court and assizes. All the names of freeholders of five hundred Acres and upwards shall be put into the Proprietors' Court bag, to be Jury men in the Proprietors' Court.

67. At every Precinct Court, before they Rise, the names of all the freeholders who are to serve as Jury men in the Precinct Court, writ in little pieces of parchment of Equal bigness and rolled up, shall be taken out of the bag and compared with the freeholder's Book, to see that none be omitted and none double; and then all shall be put into a box and shaken together; and then, by a child under ten years old, so many names shall be drawn out as will be sufficient for so many Juries as the Court shall think they shall have need of the next term, who thereupon shall have Summons to attend.

68. The same order shall be observed in drawing Juries to Serve in the Proprietors' Courts and on grand and petty Juries at the County Court and assizes respectively.

69. If there be not freeholders' names enough in any Bag for the Service of Jurors in that Court, it shall be supplied by drawing out of the next superior bag.

70. The Names of those who were summoned to serve any one term and do appear shall again be put into a box at the opening of the term, and in Court, by a child as before, shall be drawn out so many dozens as there are for so many petty Juries; which shall serve in their turns for the Causesd to be heard that day, the first which was drawn first, and so on for the first term; and after that, that Jury to be next taken which gave in its Verdict first; every morning, at the Setting of the Court, the names shall be drawn anew, unless any Jury be not then ready with their Verdict, and then that Jury shall remain the Same until the next day.

71. Each Court shall allot such an allowance to be paid by each party for whom there is a verdict as may be sufficient to defray the Charges of their Journey and attendance honourably.

72. In civil causes, each party shall have Liberty to Challenge when they are called, and before they are sworn, as many of his Jury as has a Just Exception against; and the number shall be made up by drawing new names out of the Jury men of that term who are not then actually upon any Jury.

73. In Criminal Causes of life and death, each prisoner at the Bar shall have liberty to challenge as many without showing Reason as it permitted in England, and as many more as he can show Just reason for; and the number shall be supplied by drawing new names out of the freeholders who, having appeared, are not then upon any Jury.

74. It shall be a base and vile thing to plead for money or reward; nor shall any one, except he be a near kinsman, not farther off than Cousin German to the party concerned, be permitted to plead another man's cause till, before the Judge in open Court, he has taken an oath that he doth not plead for money or reward, nor has nor will receive, nor directly nor indirectly bargained with the party, whose cause he is going to plead, for money or any other reward for pleading his cause.

75. There shall be a Parliament, consisting of the Proprietors, or their Deputies, the Landgraves and Caciques, and one freeholder out of every Precinct, to be chosen by the freeholders of the said Precinct respectively; they shall sit all together in one Room, and have every member one Vote.

76. No man shall be chosen a member of Parliament which has less than five hundred acres of freehold within the Precinct for which he is chosen; nor shall any have a vote in choosing the said member that has Less than fifty acres of freehold within the said Precinct.

77. A new Parliament Shall be assembled the first Monday of the month of November every Second year, and shall meet and sit in the town they Last sat in, without any Summons, unless by the Palatine's Court they be summoned to meet at any other place; and if there shall be any Occasion of a Parliament in these intervals, it shall be in the power of the Palatine's Court to assemble them in forty days' notice, and at such time and place as the said Court shall think fit; and the Palatine's Court shall have power to dissolve the said Parliament at the end of two months, or Sooner if the complaines brought in the first ten days and the bills brought in by the Grand Council be all dispatched.

78. At the Opening of every Parliament, the first thing that shall be done shall be the reading of these Fundamental Constitutions, which the Palatine, and the Proprietors, and the Rest of the members then Present shall Subscribe; nor shall any person whatsoever sit or Vote in the Parliament till he has, that Session, subscribed these Fundamental Constitutions in a book kept for that purpose by the Clerk of the Parliament.

79. In order the due Election of members for the Biennial Parliament, it shall be lawful for the freeholders of the Respective Precincts to meet the first Tuesday in September every two years, in the Same Town or place that they last met in, to choose Parliament men, and there, by ballot, choose those members that are to sit next November following, unless the Steward of the Precinct shall, by sufficient notice thirty days before, appoint some other place for their meeting in order to the Election.

80. Controversies about election of members of Parliament shall be tried in any of the Proprietors Courts by Juries drawn by Lot out of all uncontroverted members of Parliament, as well Noblemen as commons; but nobody's claim against returned members shall be admitted who has not, with three days after the Election, given Notice, under his hand, to the contrary party, upon what heads he intends to proceed in his claim; nor shall any claim be admitted but what is, before the opening of Parliament, put into the Grand Council, which shall transmit the said Claims to the Several Proprietors' Courts, to be tried there as soon as Parliament shall meet, that So, by the ending of Controverted Elections, the house my be quickly Settled; for till that be done, no bills or sentence are to passs in the house; and the time of the two months for the house to sit is to be reckoned to Commence from the Settling all Elections.

81. The Grand Council shall prepare all matters of legislature to be proposed in Parliament, nor shall any bill or matter to be passed into a Law, except as in paragraph 63, be proposed in Parliament but what has first passed in the Grand Council; which, after having been read three several days in the Grand Council, and there carried by Majority of Votes, shall be proposed to the Parliament, and in such proposal it shall not be necessary for the Grand Council to have the consent of the Palatine's Court; which law or bill so proposed by the Grand Council shall not be passed buy by Reading three several days in open Parliament, and upon each reading being consented to by three-fifths of the members Present, and after that, another day, read again in the Chamber of the Nobility (who, in the Passing of Bills and Judicial proceedings, shall, both Landgraves and Caciques, make but one Chamber) and the chamber of the Commons, and, in each of these chambers, passed again by the majority. But, whatever complaines shall be brought into the Parliament, suring the first ten days of their sitting, against any person under the degree of a Proprietor, who are not any of them to be liable to any censures in the Parliament, in writing and Signed by the person who brings in such complaint, for any Misdemeanor in the Execution of any office the person so complained of has borne or does bear, provided the time of such fact was committed, the Parliament shall have liberty to take Cognizance thereof, although it be not proposed to them by the Grand Council; and if the party accused has two several days been foound guilty of the misdemeanor laid to his charge, by three-fifths of th house there present, and afterwardds, another day, by the major part of the Chamber of the nobility and the major part of the Chamber of Commons, the Parliament shall then, after the Same manner, two Several days in the whol house and one day in each of the Chambers, Proceed to Vote what punishment he shall undergo for the misdemeanor he has been voted guilty of, and accordingly to sentence him; nor shall it be in the power of the Palatine's Court, nor any other person or persons in Carolina, but only of the Parliament itself, to suspend, remit, or mitigate the Execution of any sentence; and the Parliament shall have liberty to sit until they have determined of all such complaints, provided it be not above two months, after which time it shall be in the power of the Palatine's Court to Adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve it; and furthermore, there is not required the consent or concurrence of the Palatine, or any of the Proprietors, in such Judicial proceedings against any person for misdemeanor in any office they have borne, but they shall be valid without it; always provided, that such Sentence extend not to the taking away of Life or member, or be not to turn out any of the Lords Proprietors' deputies, who, being entrusted by the Respective Proprietors to see that nothing is done contrary to their interest, are not to be hindered from sitting and Voting as Deputies.

82. No Judgment shall be given in the house against any one, nor sentence passed, when there are Less than sixty members present.

83. No act or order of Parliament shall be of any force unless it be ratified in open Parliament, during the Same session, by the Palatine, or his Deputy, and three more of the Lords Proprietors, or their Deputies; and then not to continue longer in force but until the next biennial Parliament, unless in the mean time it be ratified under the hands and seals of the Palatine himself and three more of the Lords Proprietors themselves, and, by their order, published at the Next Biennial Parliament.

84. Any Proprietor, or his Deputy, or any three members of Parliament, may Enter his or their protestation against any act of Parliament, before it be passed into a law as aforesaid, if he or they shall conceive the said act to be contrary to this Establishment or any of these Fundamental Constitutions of the Government; and in such case, after full and free debate, the several Estates shall retire into four several chambers, the Palatine and Proprietors into one, the Landgraves into another, the Caciques into another, and those chosen by the Precincts into a Fourth; and if the major part of any of the four Estates shall Vote that the Law is not agreeable to these Fundamental Constitutions of the Government, then it shall pass no further, but be as if it had never been proposed.

85. The Quorum of the Parliament shall be one-half of those who are members and Capable of Sitting in that house that present Session of Parliament; the Quorum of Each of the Chambers of Parliament shall be one-half of the members of that Chamber.

86. To avoid multiplicity of Laws, which by degrees always change the right foundation of the Original Government, all acts of Parliament, in whatsoever form passed or enacted, shall, at the end of a hundred years after their Enacting, respectively cease and determine of themselves, and, without any Repeal, become null and Void, as if no such acts or laws had ever been made.

87. Since multiplicity of Comments, as well as of laws, have great inconveniencies, and serve only to Obscure and perplex, all manner of Comments and Expositions, in writing or print, on any part of these Fundamental Constitutions, or on any part of the Common or Statute Law of Carolina, are absolutely prohibited.

88. There shall be a registry in every Precinct, wherein shall be enrolled all deeds, Leases, Judgments, mortgages, and other conveyances which may concern any of the Land within the said Precinct; and all Conveyances not so entered or registered shall not be of force against any person nor party to the said Contract or Conveyance.

89. No man shall be Register of any Precinct who has not at least three hundred acres of freehold within the said Precinct.

90. The freeholders of every Precinct shall nominate three men, out of which three the Chief Justice's Court shall choose and Commission one to be Register of the said Precinct, whilst he shall well behave himself.

91. There shall be a Registry in every seigniory, Barony, and Colony, wherein shall be Recorded all the births, marriages, and deaths that shall happen within the Respective Seigniories, Baronies, and Colonies; and in registering births, the names of the father and mother of the Child, and the places where their births were Registered, shall be set down, by which means mens's pedigrees will be certainly Kept.

92. No Man shall be Register of a Colony that has not above fifty acres of freehold within the said Colony.

93. All marriages performed in Carolina shall be owned by both the parties before the Register of the place where they were married, who thereupon shall Register it, with the names of the father and mother of each party; and whosoever shall neglect to Register his marriage shall forfeit, for every week it remains unregistered, on shilling, Provided it be not the fault of the said Register it be not Registered.

94. No man shall administer to the goods, or have right to them, or enter upon the estate, of any Person deceased till his death be Registered in the respective Registry.

95. He that does not enter in the Respective registry the birth or death of any person that is Born or dies in his house or ground shall pay to the said Register one shilling per week for each such neglect, reckoning from the time of each birth or death Respectively to the time of Registering it.

96. In like manner, the Births, marriages, and deaths of the Lords Proprietors, Landgraves, and Caciques shall be registered in the Chamberlain's Court.

97. There shall be in every Colony one Constable, to be chosen annually, by the freeholders of the Colony; his estate shall be above a hundred acres of freehold within the said Colony, and such subordinate Officers appointed for his assistants as the County Court shall find requisite, and shall be established by the said County Court; the Election of the Subordinate annual officers shall be also in the freeholders of the Colony.

98. It being of great consequence to the plantation that port towns should be built and preserved, therefore, whosoever shall lade or unlade any commodity at any other place but a port town shall forfeit to the Lords Proprietors for each Ton so Laden or unladen the Sum of Ten pounds sterling, except only such goods as the Palatine's Court shall License to be laden or unladen elsewhere.

99. The first port Town upon every River shall be in a Colony, and be a port town forever.

100. No man shall be permitted to be a freeman of Carolina, or to have any estate or habitation within it, that does not acknowledge a God, and that God is publicly and solemnly to be worshipped, and that There is a future being after this life, of happiness or misery.

101. As the Country comes to be sufficiently planted and distributed into fit divisions, it shall belong to the Parliament to take care for the building of churches and for the public maintenance of divines, to be employed in the exercise of Religion according to the Church of England, which being the Religion of the government of England, it alone shall be allowed to receive public maintenance by grant of Parliament; which said public maintenance is to arise oout of lands or rents assigned to voluntarily, contributions, or such other ways whereby no man shall be chargeable to pay out of his particular Estate that is not conformable to the church aforesaid, but every church or Congregation of Christians, not of the communion of the Church of Rome, whall have power to lay a tax on its own members, not exceeding a penny per acre on their Lands and twelve per head per annum, for the maintenance of their public ministers, and of all the money so paid and disbursed they shall keep an account, which the Grand Council, or any authorized by them, shall have liberty from time to time to Inspect.

102. No ordained minister, or that receives any maintenance as minister or any congregation or Church, shall be a member of Parliamnent, or have any civil office, but wholly attend his ministry.

103. But since the Natives of that place, who will be concerned in our plantation, are utterly strangers to Christianity, whose Idolatry, Ignorance, or mistake gives us no right to Expel or use them ill; and those who remove from other parts to plant there will unavoidably be of different opinions concerning matters of Religion, the liberty whereof they will expect to have allowed them, and it will not be Reasonable for us, on this account, to keep them out; that civil peace may be maintained amidst the diversity of opinions, and our agreement and compact with all men may be duly and faithfully observed, the violation whereof, upon what pretence soever, cannot be without great offence to Almighty God, and great scandal to the true Religion, which we profess; and also, that Jews, heathens, and other dissenters from the purity of Christian Religion may not be scared and kept at a distance from it, but, by having an opportunity of acquainting themselves with the truth and Reasonableness of its doctrine, and the peaceableness and Inoffensiveness of its professors, may, by good usage and persuasion, and all those Convincing methods of Gentleness and meekness suitable to the Rules and design of the gospel, be won over to embrace and unfeignedly Receive the truth; therefore, any Seven or more persons agreeing in any Religion shall constitute a church or profession, to which they shall give some name to distinguish it from others.

104. The Terms of Communion or admittance with any church or profession shall be written in a book and therein be subscribed by all the members of the said church or profession; which book shall be kept by the public Register of the Precinct where they reside.

105. The time of Every One's Subscription or admittance shall be dated in the said book, or Religious Record.

106. In the terms of communion of every Church or Profession, these following be three, without which no agreement or assembly of men upon pretense of Religion shall be accounted a Church or profession within these Rules:

1. That there is a God.
2. That God is publicly to be worshipped.
3. That it is lawful, and the duty of every man, being thereunto called by those that govern, to bear witness to truth; and every church or profession shall, in their terms of Communion, set down the External way whereby they witness a truth as in the presence of God, whether it be by laying hands on or kissing the Bible, as in the church of England, or by holding up the hand, or any other sensible way.

107. No person above seventeen years of age shall have any benefit or protection of the law, or be capable of any place of profit or honour, who is not a member of Some church or profession, having his name recorded in Some one, and but one religious Record at once.

108. No person of any other church or profession shall disturb or molest any Religious Assembly.

109. No person whatsoever shall speak anything in their religious assembly irreverently or seditiously of the Government or Governors or of state matters.

110. Any person subscribing the terms of Communion in the Record of the said Church or profession before the Precinct register and any five members of the said Church or profession shall be thereby made a member of the said church or profession.

111. Any person striking out his own name out of any Religious Record, or his name being struck out by any officer thereunto authorized by each church or profession respectively, shall cease to be a member of that church or profession.

112. No man shall use any reproachful, reviling, or abusive Language against the Religion of any church or profession, that being the Certain way of disturbing the peace, and of hindering the conversion of any to the truth, by them in quarrels and animosities, to the hatred of the Professors and that profession, which otherwise they might be brought to assent to.

113. Since Charity obliges us to wish well to the Souls of all men, and Religion ought to alter nothing in any man's civil estate or right, it shall be Lawful for Slaves, as well as others, to enter themselves and be of what Church or profession any of them shall think best, and thereof be as full members as any freeman; but yet, no slave shall hereby be Exempted from that Civil dominion his master has over him, but be in all things in the Same state and condition he was in before.

114. Assemblies, upon what pretense soever of Religion, not observing and performing the above said Rules shall not be esteemed as churches, but unlawful meetings, and be punished as other Riots.

115. No person whatsover shall disturb, molest, or persecute another for his Speculative opinions in Religion or his way of worship.

116. No Cause, whether Civil or Criminal, of any freeman shall be tried in any Court of Judicature without a Jury of his peers.

117. No person whatsoever shall hold or claim any Land in Carolina, by Purchase or gift, or otherwise, from the natives or any other whatsoever, but merely from and under the Lords Proprietors, upon pain of forfeiture of all his estate, movable or immovable, and perpetual Banishment.

118. Whosoever shall possess any freehold in Carolina, upon what title or grant soever, shall, at the farthest, from and after the year one thousand six hundred and eighty-nine, pay yearly, unto the Lords Proprietors, for each acre of Land, English measure, as much fine silver as is at this present in one English penny, or the value thereof, to be as a chief Rent and acknowledgment to the Lords Proprietors, their heirs and successors, forever, except such persons with whom the Lords Proprietors have made, or shall make, some other agreement, under their hands and seals; and it shall be Lawful for the Palatine's Court, by their officers, at any time, to take a new survey of any man's lands, not to out him of any part of his Possession, but that, by such a survey, the Just number of acres he possesses may be known, and the Rent thereupon due may be paid by him.

119. All wrecks, Mines, Minerals, Quarries of Gems and precious stones, with Pearl fishing, Whale fishing, and one-half of all Ambergris, by whomsoever found, shall wholly belong to the Lords Proprietors.

120. All revenues and profits belonging to the Lords Proprietors, except for lands and Rents sold in common, shall be divided into ten parts, whereof the Palatine shall have three, and each Proprietor one; but if the Palatine shall govern by a Deputy or Vice-Palatine, his Deputy or Vice-Palatine shall have one of those three-tenths, and the Palatine the other two-tenths; and all Lands or mines or other thing whatsoever held in common by the Lords Proprietors shall descend to the succeeding Proprietors in common, and no benefit be taken by those who outlive the rest by survivorship; but the Respective part of all the Land, mines, and other profits and things that are held in common shall come to the successors of that Proprietor who is desceased as fully and amply as if the Proprietor deceased had conveyed the Same during his life time.

121. Every freemen of Carolina above seventeen years of age and under sixty shall be bound to have and bear arms, and all freemen, being formed into troops, Companies, and Regiments, shall be at Convenient times mustered and exercised; this militia or posse of the County shall be bound to assist the Civil magisrates or officers in execution of the Laws or keeping the peace; and there must never be in Carolina a select militia, wherein one part of the people shall be armed and the other not, nor any standing forces in pay, except only in such frontier garrisons, with such number of Soldiers in them, as the Palatine's Court, with the Consent of the Grand Council and Parliament, shall appoint.

122. A true copy of these Fundamental Constitutions shall be kept in a great book by the Register of every Precinct, to be subscribed before the said Register; nor shall any person, of what condition or degree soever, above seventeen years old, have any estate or possession in Carolina, or protection or benefit of the Law there, who has not, before a Precinct Register, subscribed these Fundamental Constitutions in this form:

I, A. B., do promise to bear faith and true allegiance to our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, his heirs and successors; and will be true and faithful to the Palatine and Lords Proprietors of Carolina, their heirs and successors; and, with my utmost power, will defend them and their Fundamental Constitutions.

123. Whatsoever Alien shall, in this form, before any Precinct Register, subscribe these Fundamental Constitutions shall be thereby naturalized.

124. In the Same manner shall every person at his admittance into any office subscribe these Fundamental Constitutions.

125. Whoseoever, by succession or otherwise, shall come to be a Proprietor of Carolina shall not be admitted to exercise any of the power or Jurisdiction belonging to a Lord Proprietor of the foresaid province, or receive any of the revenues or profits belonging to the Same, until he has, either in England or Carolina, subscribed these Fundamental Constitutions in this form:

I, A.B., do promise to bear faith and true Allegience to our Sovereign Lord King Charles the Second, his heirs and successors; and will be true and faithful to my Brethren, the Palatine and Lords Proprietors of Carolina, in defence of their Rights; and, with my utmost power, will maintain the government, according to the Establishment in these Fundamental Constitutions.

These Fundamental Constitutions, in number a hundred and twenty-six articles, and every part thereof, shall be, and Remain, the sacred and unalterable form and Rule of Government of Carolina forever, unless, in the variety of human affairs, any future Exigency should Require any addition or alteration to be made in any part of them; in such case, any new articles confirmed by the hands and seals of all the Proprietors, all the members of the Grand Council, all the members of Parliament two successive Parliaments, shall be added to these constitutions, and from thencefort to be Esteemed as part of them, to all intents and Purposes. Witness our hands and Seals, and the great seal of our province, this seventeenth day of August, in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred eighty and two.


 


© 2014 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved